Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for homeowners looking for the best way to make their home warmer and more aesthetically appealing. However, this is also the most expensive material available at flooring stores. Toronto-based residents looking for budget flooring but unwilling to compromise with wood alternatives often opt for unfinished hardwood.
This post outlines the advantages of unfinished hardwood flooring so you will know what to expect when investing in this material.
6 Advantages of Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
- Customize the finish the way you want
Since the floor planks are not factory-finished and are basically raw wood, you can choose the finish, stain, and style you want or simply leave them unfinished. Moreover, it gives you ample scope to experiment with new styles like grey hardwood flooring which is made by accurately mixing different stains.
- Fewer chances of complications
Since this is raw wood, the planks are like a clean slate, and you can be sure there will be no adverse reaction between the new and the old finish you are using. When you have a previous coating, there is always a chance of the new coat beading up or not adhering to the wood properly. Unfinished floor planks help you avoid this problem.
- Imparts a natural look to your home décor
Unfinished floorboards that are thoroughly sanded impart a natural look to your overall interior décor. You can create a rustic hardwood flooring style in your home by investing in reclaimed and unfinished floorboards which have varied edge profiles. This creates an overall customized finish unlike the uniformity of micro-beveled edge and other variants. Get a minimalist style flooring by using oil-finishes over the unfinished hardwood such that the graining and natural beauty of the floor are emphasised. You can also site-finish the floorboards with sealant and lacquers which are comparatively milder than the compounds used for pre-finishing to better retain the natural look of the floorboards.
- Matching the floorboards is easier
Pre-finished floor planks can have slight variations which means your flooring will appear uneven in places after installment. Many homeowners who want overall uniform flooring may find such irregularities unsightly. Finishing the floorboards onsite eradicates that problem, giving you homogenous flooring. Since the floorboards are stained with the same lacquer on-site and have the same number of coats, the chances of irregularities are minimized. The minor cracks, fissures, and gaps between floorboards are also filled up when you are site-finishing using the sealant and finish.
- You can get styles not available as pre-finished product
When you invest in pre-finished floor planks, the styles, textures, and stains are limited, and you may not find exactly what you like among them. Site-finishing raw floorboards gives you liberty to create your own customized stains and finishes not widely available in store. You can consult and hire professionals to create a custom mix of stains that will perfectly match your home and meet your requirements. This is possible only when you have a clean slate from which to work, like unfinished hardwood.
- They are affordable
Unfinished hardwood flooring is less expensive than their pre-finished counterparts, making them more viable for many homeowners. Since they do not come with any additional sealant or features that make the wood tougher, the manufacturing price is automatically reduced and so is the selling price. However, the method you adopt and the finish you use during the flooring installation will add to the cost, and the final price may be more than what you would have had to pay had you invested in a pre-finished product. You make the most of the cheaper price tag for unfinished wood only if you can keep the installation cost minimal.
Criteria to Choose Unfinished Hardwood
To choose the right unfinished hardwood for your home, it is important to keep certain criteria in mind.:
- Wood species
The species of wood you use is important as each has specific characteristics and hardness, and reacts differently to stains. Some of the best wood species for unfinished planks are oak which are light-coloured and hence versatile enough to be stained any colour you want.
The quality of unfinished wood is another important factor you should take into consideration. If you opt for reclaimed wood, the extent of damage in the floor planks should be taken note of to ensure you are getting the best value for your money.
- Installation method
The method of installation determines the type of planks in which you should invest. If you want a click-lock installation process or a floating installation, make sure the wood planks have been cut and shaped accurately with tongue and groove. Also, they should be sanded well so there are no splinters, which can be a problem if you do not plan to seal or polish the wood after installation.
The overall expense of investing in unfinished wood should be compared to the estimated cost of investing in pre-finished hardwood to determine whether you are getting a cost-effective deal.
Unfinished wood flooring has a natural beauty that many homeowners love. Keeping the above-mentioned advantages and criteria in mind will help you to find the best match for your home.